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Brand Name: Femcet

Generic Name: APAP/butalbital/caffeine

It is used to treat tension headaches
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What is this medicine?

ACETAMINOPHEN; BUTALBITAL; CAFFEINE (a set a MEE noe fen; byoo TAL bi tal; KAF een) is a pain reliever. It is used to treat tension headaches.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • drink more than 3 alcohol-containing drinks per day
  • drug abuse or addiction
  • heart or circulation problems
  • kidney disease or problems going to the bathroom
  • liver disease
  • lung disease, asthma, or breathing problems
  • porphyria
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to acetaminophen, butalbital or other barbiturates, caffeine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. If the medicine upsets your stomach, take the medicine with food or milk. Do not take more than you are told to take.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • alcohol or medicines that contain alcohol
  • antidepressants, especially MAOIs like isocarboxazid, phenelzine, tranylcypromine, and selegiline
  • antihistamines
  • benzodiazepines
  • carbamazepine
  • isoniazid
  • medicines for pain like pentazocine, buprenorphine, butorphanol, nalbuphine, tramadol, and propoxyphene
  • muscle relaxants
  • naltrexone
  • phenobarbital, phenytoin, and fosphenytoin
  • phenothiazines like perphenazine, thioridazine, chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, fluphenazine, prochlorperazine, promazine, and trifluoperazine
  • voriconazole

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your pain does not go away, if it gets worse, or if you have new or a different type of pain. You may develop tolerance to the medicine. Tolerance means that you will need a higher dose of the medicine for pain relief. Tolerance is normal and is expected if you take the medicine for a long time.

Do not suddenly stop taking your medicine because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medicine. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a drug for a non-medical reason. If you have pain, you have a medical reason to take pain medicine. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.

You may get drowsy or dizzy when you first start taking the medicine or change doses. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that may be dangerous until you know how the medicine affects you. Stand or sit up slowly.

Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen with this medicine. Always read labels carefully. If you have questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

If you take too much acetaminophen get medical help right away. Too much acetaminophen can be very dangerous and cause liver damage. Even if you do not have symptoms, it is important to get help right away.

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All visitors to AARP.org should seek expert medical care and consult their own physicians for any specific health issues. Read this disclaimer in its entirety.
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Note: This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions, or adverse effects for this drug. If you have question about the drug(s) you are taking, check with your health care professional.
 
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